Hibernian midfielder holds strong desire to represent Jamaica
Scottish Championship Hibernian FC holding midfielder, Marvin Bartley, says he can bring stability and balance to the Jamaica national senior men's team in their pursuit of a spot at the FIFA 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.
"As a holding midfielder, I can bring stability and balance into the centre of the park, allowing more attack-minded midfielders to do their business - although I'm not too shy in getting involved in an attack," Bartley, who transferred from Leyton Orient FC in England to Hibernian in Scotland last summer, told The Gleaner.
"I am also fit and athletic enough to cover a lot of ground in a game, allowing me to provide cover for fullbacks that like to push forward. But, I do believe that talk is cheap, and I'm more than happy for those watching to decide what I bring to the team should I receive a call-up," he added.
"With my current form being good and my fitness level high, I am more than ready to pull on the gold jersey and play for my family's country," Bartley assured.
Born in Reading, England
The 6" 3' (1.9m) player was born in Reading, England, but has Jamaican roots with his mother born in St Ann and father from Manchester.
"I have had my Jamaican passport since 2012 and have been available to represent Jamaica ever since. It has long been an ambition of mine to play for the country, ever since I started my career as a footballer. I've had conversations on a few occasions since then, but due to me not feeling I was in the best form possible or being injured I've yet to represent Jamaica. But this is something I hope will change in the not too distant future as I feel in prime condition and believe I am playing well," Bartley said confidently.
"I've followed the national team's results ever since being a young boy due to my family all being from the country. This interest was obviously taken up a notch or 10 due to the '98 World Cup team. Even last year I found myself watching how the side got on in the Gold Cup as they reached the final, which was particularly impressive considering they had also competed in the Copa America earlier that summer too," the 29-year-old reflected.
Bartley says he visits Jamaica regularly and was here less than a year ago.
"This has only helped to strengthen my desire to compete at international level for the Jamaican national team," he emphasised.
Bartley is yet to score for Hibs in 19 appearances in all competitions this season. He also represented Bumham, Hayes, Didcol Town, Hampton and Richmond Borough, Bournemouth and Burnley.